If you are following the IoT (Internet of Things) developments, the latest buzz is that the range of Wi-Fi coverage will be much longer and yet still low in terms of power consumption. According to Wi-Fi Alliance, the new system would be called Wi-Fi HaLow.
Wi-Fi HaLow, (pronounced as Hay-Low) is yet to be released for users as its patent is pending at IEEE 802.11ah specifications. It will be useful for smart homes to smart cities, connected smart cars and your wearables. The system would be powered by thousands of battery-powered sensors that will be connected to a single Wi-Fi Access Point.
The Wi-Fi Alliance which is made up of about 700 vendors is expected to roll out a certification process for end users in 2018. But analysts said some products that would support the application/system will be available in the market sooner than expected. The finalization process of IEEE 802.11ah is almost in the last stage and some reports said it is at “technical phase.”
W-Fi HaLow will operate below 1GHz on the available wireless spectrum, i.e. within an unlicensed range. This means that it will be able to penetration better barriers like concrete walls and the doors. The signals will be two times stronger than the one that is considered standard in the industry.
The other good news is that under the initial certification for Wi-Fi HaLow, the equipment’s data rate is expected to be about 18Mbps, an official report said. The range will be as low as 150Kbps, which can be achieved within 1MHz channel. To get the 18Mbps data transfer rate, manufacturers will try to use a channel that is about 4MHz wide. Also, the maximum data transfer rate maybe as high as 78Mbps when using a channel that is 16Mhz wide.
The fact that Wi-Fi HaLow will be slower throughput will not make much difference in development of IoT applications. Also, with the sensors being battery-powered and transferring data in occasional short bursts; a speedier throughput will have far greater impacts when staring applications like HD video and other heavier data are transferred.